Crystalens® is the only intraocular lens implant that bends and flexes just like your eye’s natural lens. Crystalens® gives aging eyes the visual acuity of young healthy eyes, and has had an excellent success rate in patients who have had crystalens® implanted.
How does the crystalens® implant work?
The crystalens® implant works in much the same way as your natural lens. With natural, healthy vision, your eye focuses on images near and far by coordinating the curvatures of its outer membrane and inner lens. The outer membrane is called the cornea, and the inner lens is called the crystalline lens. LASIK and other refractive surgeries are used to correct the curvature of the cornea, as well as corneal implants. Crystalens® has a high success rate and is the first and only crystalline lens implant that curves and flexes just like your natural lens.
The Accommodation Process
The crystalline lens is located behind the iris (the colored part of your eye), and is controlled by the surrounding ciliary muscles. The lens bends, flexes, thickens, and thins as you focus on objects near and far. This process is called accommodation. The accommodation of the lens works to focus images on the retina, where the images are turned into chemical signals which are interpreted by your brain.
Loss of Accommodation with Age
As you age, your lens loses flexibility and becomes less accommodating. Your lens can also become clouded with cataracts or you may experience difficulty seeing near objects due to presbyopia. As your lens hardens or becomes clouded with cataracts, your vision deteriorates, and will continue to deteriorate without medical intervention. Cataract extraction is the removal of the clouded crystalline lens. After cataract surgery, vision may be improved with glasses, contact lenses, or an intraocular lens such as crystalens® that is implanted behind the iris where the crystalline lens used to be.
Accommodation with Crystalens®
Traditional intraocular lenses improve vision, but are not accommodating and often require glasses to achieve 20/20 vision. The new crystalens® intraocular lens, approved by the FDA in 2003, actually bends and flexes much like your natural lens, giving patients near 20/20 vision, often without the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses. Crystalens® has an excellent success rate of accommodating for near and far vision, literally giving many older patients the same visual acuity they had in their 20s.
Crystalens® Success Rates
The crystalens® intraocular lens has had outstanding success in helping patients achieve normal vision.
The FDA presented this data for crystalens® success based on 497 patients:
- 98.4 percent of the patients could read NYSE, Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers
- 100 percent of the patients could read their email and other content on their computer monitors
- 98.4 percent achieved 20/40 vision or better in the distance and most achieved 20/20 or 20/30 vision
The placement of intraocular lenses is a new technology, and long-term data is not available. Talk with your doctor and make sure you fully understand the risks involved before deciding if crystalens® is right for you. All surgery involves risk. Though complications from crystalens® implantation are rare, some of the risks of intraocular surgery include:
- More surgery may be required to correct lens placement if the lens is placed improperly or if the lens shifts after surgery
- Possible cornea clouding due to an increased loss of endothelial cells after surgery (endothelial cells are responsible for draining corneal fluid and keeping it clear; endothelial cells are not replaced by the body when lost)
- Permanent loss of vision
- Increased risk of detached retina after surgery
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